Inter-University Seminar on Armed Forces and Society

We are a forum for the interchange and assessment of research and scholarship in the social and behavioral sciences, dealing with the military establishment and civil-military relations.

The 2023 IUS Biennial International Conference: Keynote Speaker Announced and Registration Now Available

Registration and hotel reservations are now available for the 2023 Biennial International Conference of the Inter-University Seminar on Armed Forces and Society.

The Biennial International Conference of the Inter-University Seminar on Armed Forces and Society will be held October 13-15, 2023, at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, 1800 Presidents Street, Reston, Virginia 20190.

This year's keynote speaker will be General John W. “Jay” Raymond, U.S Space Force (RET). Raymond is globally recognized as a transformational leader with over 38.5 years of National Security experience. He has planned, established, and led large complex organizations with a budget exceeding $24 billion. In December of 2019, the President of the United States appointed Raymond to serve as the first Chief of Space Operations for the newly established United States Space Force. As the Chief of Space Operations and the first-ever Guardian, he oversaw the standup of all new Space Force organizations, transfer of personnel from other military branches, consolidation of space units from other services, setting of the services culture and the designing of its force structure. He has built extensive global partnerships with our allies and coalition partners, and with the intelligence community, the commercial space sector and civilian space agencies. As a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, he served as a strategic advisor to the President, Secretary of Defense and National Security Council.  

For his work in leading the initial building of the Space Force, Raymond has been described as the "father of the Space Force.” He retired from military service on January 1, 2023. 

2023 Conference panels will begin Friday morning, October 13, with panels both morning and afternoon and the IUS Welcome Reception and Dinner that evening. The Conference concludes Sunday, October 15, at noon. Please plan to arrive on Thursday, October 12.

Click here for more information and to begin registration.

2023 Moskos Award Winner Announced: Dr. Edward Gonzalez

We are pleased to announce Dr. Edward Gonzalez as the winner of the 2023 Moskos Award for his article "Adjudicating Competing Theories: Does Civilian Control over the Military Decrease Conflict?"

This article addresses a central question for the political sociology of the military: are states in which civilian leadership has more control over the military less likely to initiate wars than states where the military has greater say over foreign policy? This article has an impressive agenda. Edward Gonzalez seeks to adjudicate between two competing theories about the impact of civilian control on the propensity to use force, “civilian conservatism” (civilian control leads to less war) and “military conservatism” (civilian control leads to more war). In addition, he uses his larger data sets for hypothesis testing. He employs a sophisticated approach, using Poisson regression models and the established, widely regarded MID4 dataset on international conflict. His results run against the grain of current thinking on the consequences of civilian control for the propensity of states to use force at a time of decreasing regional stability. Gonzalez performs diligent robustness checks on his coefficients and provides prudent caveats to quantitative conclusions on the data, some of which may be addressed through broader social science research, including detailed case studies and normative analysis. Our author makes sense of his counterintuitive findings and shows the continuing relevance of “military conservatism” theory on the use of force, a theory that, perhaps too soon, has faded from scholarly interest. In this remarkable article, Edward Gonzalez advances the state of our knowledge on the relationship between civilian control, military involvement in national security decision making, and the causes of war.

Dr. Edward Gonzalez earned his PhD in Political Science and International Relations from the University of Southern California in 2023, with a focus on International Security. His dissertation examines the puzzle of nuclear reversals: why some states that were pursuing nuclear bombs decided to reverse course and terminate their nuclear ambitions. His dissertation advances a novel two-pathway theory of nuclear reversals, examining how the use/threat of force and international norms, respectively, influence states to terminate nuclear weapons pursuit. In addition to studying nuclear politics, Dr. Gonzalez is interested in international conflict and war. Currently, he is collaborating in a book project and research articles with the Near Crisis Project, a multi-university collaborative project studying near crisis events, particularly exploring why some disputes escalate into international crises while others do not. Dr. Gonzalez will be working as a visiting lecturer for the Master of Arts in International Relations (MAIR) program at New York University for the 2023-2024 academic year. Prior to USC, he earned a Master of Arts in Political Science from California State University, Long Beach in 2015 and a BA in Political Science from California State University, Dominguez Hills in 2012.

The task of finding the winner fell to the selection committee, composed of Professor Damon Coletta (United States Air Force Academy), Professor Yagil Levy (The Open University of Israel), and Professor Pascal Vennesson (S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Nanyang Technological University Singapore) (Chair). We appreciate their hard work and dedication.

Dr. Brenda L. Moore Joins IUS Board of Directors as Secretary of the IUS

Brenda L. Moore is an associate professor of sociology at the University at Buffalo (SUNY), where she has been conducting research and teaching courses in the areas of military sociology, race and ethnicity, gender, and social stratification for more than three decades. She is Editor of Special Issue on Women in the Military: Armed Forces and Society 43 (2): 191-392. She is author of the books: To Serve My Country, To Serve My Race: The Story of the Only African American WACs Stationed Overseas During World War II, and Serving Our Country: Japanese American Women in the Military during World War II; and has published several scholarly articles analyzing survey data on women and minorities in the military.

Moore completed her Ph.D. in Sociology at the University of Chicago in 1987 where she studied under the supervision of the late Morris Janowitz, founder of the IUS. She has been an active member of the IUS since 1987, including as organizer, discussant, and presenter at the biennial conferences; as the Chair of the Student Paper Award Committee; as a member of the IUS Council; and as a member of the Board of Editors of the IUS journal, Armed Forces & Society.

Moore is a Vietnam War era veteran, having served in the U.S. Army from 1973 to 1979. During her tour, Moore was assigned to the 46th Combat Support Hospital at Fort Devens. She was later assigned as a Race Relations/Equal Opportunity Specialist in Schweinfurt, Germany, after graduating from the Defense Race Relations Institute in Florida in 1976.

Moore serves on national committees addressing issues pertaining to active-duty service members and military veterans. She was appointed by President Clinton to serve as a member of the American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC). In 1995 she served as a subject expert in the NGO forum on Women in International Securities held at the World's Women's Conference in Beijing. In the fall of 1999, she completed three years of service as a member of the Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services (DACOWITS), advising the Secretary of Defense on military matters concerning active-duty women. Recently she served as a member of the Veterans’ Rural Health Advisory Committee providing advice to the Secretary of Veterans Affairs on health care issues affecting Veterans residing in rural areas (2016-2022).

Please join us in thanking Brenda for her continuing service and leadership in the IUS and in welcoming her to this new role.

Perspectives on the Afghanistan War: A Virtual Symposium

A message to our friends and partners,

The Inter-University Seminar (IUS) and Armed Forces & Society are excited to announce an on-line special issue - “Perspectives on the Afghanistan War”. This inaugural, online resource offers our readers a variety of critical commentary by an international set of scholars. Each essay contains unique and insightful perspectives regarding the tragic 20-year-long Afghanistan war.

The 13 essays contain commentary on a variety of topics. Several examine factors that contributed to the Taliban win and the West’s defeat. Insights into civil-military relations as well as lessons learned run through most of the commentary. Legacy issues such as civilian casualties, outsourcing, and women’s experience in war are included. An international array of Western and non-Western authors brings fresh perspectives to the scholarly landscape.

The genesis of this symposium began at a coffee shop after Pat Shields read a set of heartfelt tweets, which contained Retired Navy Captain Don Inbody’s reaction to the final days of the Afghanistan withdrawal. Inbody’s tweets called for serious scholarship into this calamitous and prolonged misadventure. We hope to begin the discussion with these papers.

So, it is with great excitement that we present to our readers a multidisciplinary and non-partisan, international, exploration of the long-war in Afghanistan – at the one-year anniversary of the US withdrawal from Kabul. SAGE has made all of the articles “free to read” for 8 weeks.

Click here to access the symposium.

Patricia M. Shields
Editor, Armed Forces & Society

Laura L. Miller
President, IUS

2022 Charles Moskos Prize Winner Announced

We are happy to announce Dr. Matthew Cancian as the 2022 winner of the Charles Moskos Prize for his article “The Motivation to Enlist Among Kurds.”

Dr. Cancian’s article, addresses theoretically and empirically a central question in military sociology: why individuals join armed forces. The author seeks to assess the degree to which Charles Moskos’s classical analytical framework on motivation to enlist “travels” to other contexts, here Kurdish fighters engaged in the fight against ISIS, thereby encouraging comparative perspectives in military sociology. He provides a nuanced answer: Moskos’s model is useful but incomplete. To better take into account the specific context of the recruitment of Kurdish fighters, he combines a new category – the desire for revenge – to the classic occupational and institutional motivations to join. The award committee found particularly stimulating and fruitful the paper’s effort to explore a classical theme such as enlistment in the non-state context of a war-fighting militia. This helps to explain motivations to join under unique conditions, very different from typical Western militaries. Moreover, Kurdish recruitment is of high interest to Western armed forces seeking allies in the fight against ISIS and beyond. Lastly, the paper is grounded in a fascinating empirical enquiry under difficult, ongoing war condition. It is the result of a fruitful cooperation with local researchers as well as local Kurdish commanders. In sum, the paper makes an important contribution to the study of nonstate warfare from a sociological perspective.

Dr. Cancian studies military operations at the Naval War College as a contractor for Saalex Solutions. He received his PhD in Political Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2022, where he concentrated in Security Studies and Comparative Politics. His thesis was about the motivations of combatants and the effects of training, based on a survey of 2,301 Kurdish fighters (Peshmerga) during their war against the Islamic State. He is interested in adding new, data-driven perspectives to all questions pertaining to security studies. Before MIT he earned a Masters in Law and Diplomacy from the Fletcher School and a BA in History from the University of Virginia. Between those educational experiences he served as a Captain in the United States Marine Corps, deploying to Sangin, Afghanistan as a Forward Observer in 2011 in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

We want to thank the selection committee, composed of Professor Damon Coletta (United States Air Force Academy), Professor Yagil Levy (The Open University of Israel), and Professor Pascal Vennesson (S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Nanyang Technological University Singapore) (Chair).

IUS Secretariat Laura Miller Elected Chair & President of the IUS

The Council of the Inter-University Seminar on Armed Forces and Society has elected Dr. Laura Miller as new IUS Chair/President. She succeeds Dr. Patricia Shields who will continue serving as Editor of Armed Forces and Society.

Miller has been an IUS member since the early 1990s. She served on the IUS Council from 1995-2016, and has been a member of the Board and the IUS Secretary since 2005. She has also served as an occasional reviewer for the journal and now serves on the Board of Editors. Her biographical information is at:

Donate to the Charles Moskos Prize

The Charles Moskos Prize is named in honor of Charles C. Moskos, PhD, beloved mentor, friend, and former President/Chair of IUS. This Prize will inspire future generations of civil-military relations scholars by recognizing, promoting, and rewarding annually the best article published by an emerging scholar in Armed Forces & Society.

For more information on the Charles Moskos Prize, eligibility and benefits, click here.

To give a tax-deductible donation to the Charles Moskos Prize, use the following Paypal link:

Join IUS

The Fellows of the IUS are selected on the basis of their professional qualifications. The criteria are advanced education in related fields, research publications, teaching or other demonstrated processional accomplishments in the field of military studies.


Benefits of Being an IUS Fellow

 By becoming a fellow of IUS, you gain access to Armed Force & Society and our SAGE's "Full Text Collections" in both Political Science and Sociology

Donate Now to the IUS

Make a Dues Payment


Want to submit an Announcement or Paper?

If you have an announcement you'd like to submit to IUS, or if you would like to submit to our Call for Papers, you can do so by using our forms for each section.

Already a Fellow?

You can access the Armed Forces and Society or SAGE's "Full Text Collections" for the Political Science and Sociology.

Have any questions for us? We look forward to hearing from you!